Saturday, August 24, 2013

Chainsaw Therapy [Rydan & Safia]

Are you ready?  Here is my newest Chainsaw Therapy, featuring Safia and Rydan, from my main work-in-progress (WIP).  

To find my first edition, click here.  And to read the origin of this awesome exercise, by Katie of Whisperings of the Pen, click here.

[a bit of background for my characters]
Rydan:  Crown prince of Gondoa (a large country loosely based on America).  Eldest son of King Ryen and Queen Adrie; brother-in-law of the young King Colton, ruler of Ardos (sister kingdom to Gondoa), who married his older sister, Anna -- both now have two young children, Cassyndra and Cody; older brother of Sasha and Tori, princesses of Gondoa.  
Safia:  My main character, who has suffered much.  Poor thing.  Bless us and splash us!  *ahem* O_o She has witnessed the death of her mother, eight years before, and most recently the death of her father and his entire merchant crew in a battle at sea.  (Sounds a bit extreme, I know. . .)  Rescued by the prince's men, who were returning to their home country after an ambassadorial trip to the Twelve Isles, she is welcomed as one of them.  And the story goes on. . . =]  She is quiet, reserved, has a slight temper, and is slow to trust.  
Mo'mbweno Bongani:  Known simply as Mo.  A huge, dark-skinned giant of Makar (based on the familiar continent and countries of Africa), standing six foot seven.  First mate of Rydan's ship, the Sea Falcon, and bosun of the royal family's ship, the Victory's Crown.  Loyal to the kingdom of Gondoa and her rulers, personal friend and bodyguard of her crown prince.
Peder:  You know him, right?  =]  Cadet of the Red Guard, a division of the elite fighting force of Gondoa.  You can read more of his character and background in my seven-part short story, All in a Day's Work (Part 1).

To read another summary of my WIP, Safia, click here and scroll until you find the name Faina.

What are you waiting for?  On to the story!

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        The air was cool. The sea, calm. A mild wind stirred the open sails of the Sea Falcon, gently pushing her on course.
        Rydan, crown prince of Gondoa, stood at the helm of his ship, completely at ease in his role as captain. His eyes roamed the deck below where a small number of his sailors were spending their off-duty hour on a game of cards. He could hear the soft laughter of men having a good time.
        Breathing deeply as a fresh breeze ruffled his hair, Rydan looked toward the bow of the ship. He caught a glimpse of raven tresses and knew she was in her favorite spot, nestled on the slim, cushioned bench in the nook of the prow. He sighed. Though he relished the days at sea, this voyage was different.
        Different in the way he felt he was losing something.
        Safia.
        Movement nearby interrupted his reverie and caused him to turn.
        “Mvamawe, Raja! Hail, Prince! Did'ja miss me, life-friend? Were ye lonely?” greeted the booming voice of a giant man with dark skin, a bald head, and a big smile. He wore the custom attire of his home country, Makar; consisting of a sleeveless shirt, matching tan breeches, a wide maroon sash tied at the waist, and leather boots. A large golden earring hung on his left ear and two arm-bands, of the same substance, on his upper arms completed his native look.
        “Mo! Where have you been? I thought for sure that fish had come back for revenge and you were helpless to escape. What a monster! And who says I'm lonely?”  With one hand, Rydan released the spokes of the ship's wheel to clasp his friend's hand. Mo'mbweno Bongani, known to all as Mo, grinned and offered to relieve Rydan of his post.
        “What creature can stand th' might of Mo?” he replied, with a fist to his chest, as he took the wheel.
        “None!” the prince agreed. “Thanks, Mo,” he said, moving aside to allow his friend the power of the helm. Stretching stiff limbs, he commented, “By the way, what is on the menu for this evening?”
        “Now, why would I know de answer to dat?”
        Rydan laughed. “Because you smell as if you were the one marinated and cooked in one of Cat's famous stews. Taste testing again, are we?” Mo's expression of mock astonishment and lost dignity almost caused Rydan to lose his quizzical glare.
        “Me? Commit such a crime? D'ye think ol' Catfish would allow anyone other den 'imself to touch 'is precious concoctions?”
        Eyebrows raised, Rydan gave him a look.
        “The ladle o' stew I had was beyond delicious. Well worth the rap I got on de knuckle for it,” he said, grinning.
        “What is it? Seaman's Stew? Beefy Bard's Bounty?”
        “Oh no. I swore on pain o' death I wouldn't tell a soul,” said the big man, serious. With his hands on the helm, he leaned down closer to Rydan's eye level and whispered, “ 'E threatened t' chop ma head off–wid 'is ladle.”
        The prince could no longer contain the mirth welling within. He burst into laughter. Mo humphed at his post and glared straight ahead.
        “Go on, Raja,” he mumbled. “Ye can laugh all ye like, but ye won' get an answer from me.”
        “Alright, alright! Keep your head. If there's anyone on this ship you need fear, it's Catfish, the five foot cook, and not the Makarian giant. Very well, Master Mo, I know who to call if we find ourselves under attack.
        “Aye. Beware the ladle.”
        It must have been the manner in which the dark man stated the latter sentence–a deadly serious tone–that set the prince laughing once more. He slapped his friend on the back, then ducked to avoid a return swipe that could possibly have knocked him down.
        “I'll be forward if anyone needs to know,” he called when he had regained his breath, then turned for the stairs that led to the lower deck.
        Mo replied in a loud voice so all of his men could hear, “Give 'er m' best greetings, Raja!” Rydan sent him a glare, but continued to the main deck.

        Safia half-heard the exchange between the two men on the upper deck, and would have laughed with them had she not been so preoccupied with thoughts of her late mother's family. With every movement of the ship bringing her closer and closer to the people she did not know, a home that would never be home, and memories she wished to forget–it was all she could do to keep from screaming, much less jumping at every sound.
        Fingering the medallion her father had given her with his dying breath, she felt a comfort. Her eyes closed and she allowed the sway of the Falcon to calm her.
        Moments passed like so until the strong voice of a man awoke her from the pleasant doze.
        “May I join you?” Safia opened her eyes and looked up at the prince standing before her. She smiled. Over the last few weeks, she had come to trust him as an invaluable friend.
        “Of course.” The bench, large enough to hold three girls her size, was a comfortable length to allow the two space with an incredible view from the fo’c’sle deck, just before the bowsprit.
        Safia drew her legs closer to her chest, adjusting the folds of her skirt as he settled into the cushions adjacent her. Hugging her knees, she looked at him, well aware her current position was far from lady-like.  At the moment, she didn't care. She was far too weary from worry and fear.
        Rydan reclined against the side railing and stretched his legs before him, sighing contentedly. With head back and eyes closed, he enjoyed the sea air as it riffled through his dark locks. For a minute or so, they sat quietly. He could feel her watching him. Peeking at her with one eye, he met both of hers and was surprised by a sadness in the depths of deep blue. A sadness she tried to hide.
        Leaning forward, holding her eyes with his, he voiced his concern.
        “Are you well, Safia?” His tone was soft. “The closer we have come to Charan, the quieter you become. Is there something you are not telling me?
        She looked away. There was far too much he didn't–couldn't–know.
        “I am fine,” she hesitated, staring into the sea before them. “Honestly, I am afraid.”
        “Afraid?”
         Releasing the tight hold she had on her knees, Safia stared at her hands, hating the tremors that were beginning to run through them. She clasped them tighter and looked to the horizon.
        “I do not know my mother's family. The vague memories of my childhood visits with them were few. Only once do I remember seeing my grandparents, and that was in the town, when they ventured far enough from their castle walls to speak with the people they governed.” She shook her head, as if to rid her mind of useless thoughts. “What if they won't accept me?  What if they are gone?  What” she stopped herself. It is nothing. Just the foolish worries of a little girl.”
        They were silent until Rydan spoke a moment later.
        “I made a promise that I would take you to the port of Sancor,” he began. “But that doesn't mean I have to leave you there.” Blushing, she met his eyes as he continued. “If you wish it, you can return with me. Safia, I–” His next words were broken by an otherworldly sound:
        BRRRRGHBEEEWHHRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!
        Instantly, his sword was drawn and he was on his feet before her, ready to defend. Safia, wide-eyed and with hands over her ears, was frozen in place, terrified.
        Rydan's sword, aimed steadily down his ship's deck, swerved right and left trying to discern the source of the horrid sound. His men were coming to life, roused suddenly by the monstrous noise.
        At last, Rydan pinpointed the direction of the noise and moved forward, gesturing for Safia to stay. Slowly, he walked to the ship's port side where a skiff had been lowered earlier that day for fishing purposes. As he came nearer to the railing, he began to make out a voice bellowing over the monster.
        “Blast it, lassie, that ain't no tree! It's a bloomin' boat!”
        Leading with his sword arm, Rydan peered over the edge just as a scattering of his crew arrived. What he saw left him far more bewildered than before. A big man, not as tall as Mo, yet just as broad, wearing blue overalls, a faded red-flannel shirt, and baseball cap, stood in the little boat with a broken oar and an annoyed expression. Despite being quite bald, the man sported a bushy beard. In his hands was the source of the sound. He pounded and tugged at the object, finally silencing its monstrosity. The man was still mumbling unintelligible words to himself when Rydan decided to address him. But before the prince even uttered a word, his childhood friend, Peder, was suddenly at his side.
        “What is this? Dan–” The young Guard's features changed to sudden recognition and he scrambled to the ship's side. “YOU!”
        Baffled, but sensing no danger whatsoever, Rydan sheathed his sword and signaled for his men to do the same as they listened to the banter between the stranger and Peder Grey, Guard of Gondoa.
        “What is going on?” Rydan turned to find Safia at his elbow.
        “Looks like we have a stowaway, though for the life of me, I cannot figure how we missed him. It appears that Peder is acquainted. If that is the case, it is probably best we do not know.” Rydan called to the sailors standing by the rigging and ordered them to hoist the skiff up. While his men worked to bring the little boat level with the top deck, Safia and Rydan listened to the conversation commencing between the annoyed guardsman and the mysterious stranger.
        “. . .This is a royal ship! And we are in the middle of the Tandic Sea! What in heaven's name are you doing here??”
        “Tandic Sea? Royalty? Oi, sonny! Don't I know you?” The big man's mouth widened in a beaming grin and he slapped his thigh in recognition. “Well I'll be buttered, you're the fellow from the forest, eh? You sure get around, don'tcha?”
        By now, the boat was level with the deck, and Peder glared up at the man afresh. But before the young man could speak another word, the stranger slapped his own forehead with a beefy hand, startling Peder, and exclaimed, “Don't tell me, I've done it again! Blasted portals! Down to the depths whoever thought of mayonnaise!”
        Rubbing his temples with the tips of his fingers, Peder muttered, “That would be the French.”
        “What?”
        “Nevermind.”
        As the banter continued, Rydan shrugged and ordered his men to return to work. Turning to Safia, who stood quietly watching the two with a smile, he offered his arm.
        “Come on. Let us leave them to it, shall we?”
        “But what is that thing?” Rydan looked to where the strange object rested on the deck.
        Again, he shrugged his shoulders, “Who knows? Probably some contraption of the future, so made to saw effortlessly through whole trees.”
        “What?”        “I don't know. What say we go to the galley?”

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(photo via Pinterest)

*beams*
What did you think?  Not as funny as my first. . . But still.  It was so much fun to write!

This writing exercise is perfect if you are currently suffering through a writer's block.  Or even just for fun!  Pick a character or two, put them in their own normal, little world, then add a random man with a chainsaw.  Simple, yes?  Have fun with it!


4 comments:

Lauriloth said...

Ahahahaha!! This is HILARIOUS. What an idea. I might have to try it sometime. I'm dying! Also, I lost it at “Aye. Beware the ladle.” *snorts*

I so love your writing style. You have a real talent. Keep it up!

Morgan said...

I really like this Sarah!

Sarah Elizabeth said...

Lauri: Thank you! I'm so glad to hear that my writings have made someone laugh! Mo is one of my absolute co-characters. I love writing with him! One of my sisters has drawn him for me, maybe I'll post it sometime.

Morgan: Thank you so much!

You both have made my day!!!

Jody Dake said...

Gotta admit Sarah, that was pretty funny! Great job!

Always Experiencing Him,
Mom